Tips for Living with a Bipolar Person

January 13, 2020
Have you ever imagined what living with a bipolar person is like? Those who do understand that it's no simple task. Continue reading to find out more about it.

Living with a bipolar person is an incredible challenge. Those who live with a bipolar person define it as climbing a mountain, given the ever-changing emotions. The sudden ups and downs can be quite overwhelming.

Relationships with “regular” people are already complex enough. Now imagine interacting with a person whose mood is changing constantly.

Many factors can affect the mood changes of a person with bipolar disorder, although the people around them can impact them positively.

What’s bipolar disorder?

A woman with bipolar disorder.

A person with bipolar disorder’s mood fluctuates constantly. Sometimes they become manic, while other times they sink into depression.

Mood alterations characterize bipolar disorder, and manic bouts followed by depressive or mixed bouts are quite common.

People with bipolar disorder experience sudden changes in mood. Even though there are several subtypes, the symptoms range somewhere between manic and depressive episodes.

These changes can occur annually and there can be two and three cycles. In other cases, there might be one episode, followed by another, and it can last several days.

Read also: What’s It Like to Be Bipolar?

What to expect during a manic episode?

When a person goes through manic episodes, they may:

  • Express much joy, optimism, strength, and feel encouraged
  • Feel anxiety, nervousness or out of whack
  • Talk quickly and move from one topic to another, without pausing
  • Feel like they can multitask and accomplish a lot
  • Feel creative and have lots of energy
  • Sleep less and feel more tired
  • Feel that their needs aren’t met or that they’re not getting what they need and become irritable as a consequence
  • Take risks with projects, and make excessive purchases or spend money unnecessarily
  • Be sexually aroused

What can you expect during depressive episodes?

  • The person may be extremely sad
  • They may worry excessively and feel abandoned
  • They may lose interest in activities that previously excited them
  • Trouble focusing
  • Tiredness and apathy

As you can see, people with bipolar disorder can go from feeling on top of the world to feeling completely abandoned. This happens due to the quick change from manic to depressive episodes.

Don’t miss: What are the most common mental illnesses?

Living with a bipolar person

A depressed woman.

Living with a person with bipolar disorder can be quite difficult. However, family and partner support is decisive for their well-being.

Living with a person with bipolar disorder isn’t easy and existing studies confirm it. In many cases, people around them may feel offended or like someone’s invading their space.

The sensitivities of the people around them can also be hurt, especially by their sexual demands. But research suggests that support is important.

Anyone living with a bipolar person must keep in mind that striving to change their behavior won’t change anything.

Some people, especially those in a relationship, often observe their mate’s habits, their looks and try to inhibit certain ways of behaving to keep them from becoming angry or depressed. However, such measures never prevent a bipolar person’s extreme reactions.

Tips for living with a bipolar person

  • Seek professional help for both you and the bipolar person and also for the people around you.
  • If your partner doesn’t have a diagnosis then you must show them the need to seek help so that things can go more smoothly better after treatment.
  • Show love and understanding. Offer support instead of judging or scolding. The best thing you can do is make the bipolar person understand that you care about them and only want the best for their well-being.
  • Discard any stigmas you both might have in regard to mental disorders. Understand that it’s okay to consult a psychologist or a psychiatrist, as these professionals can help you change and improve your lives.
  • Encourage the bipolar person to engage in physical activities, especially when they feel depressed. Activity will help them feel better and make them realize they’re not alone. They must avoid inactivity.
  • Don’t turn them into victims and don’t feel responsible for what goes on. If you wish, you can participate in psychotherapies to support them.

What else can you do?

You’ll feel better if you follow these guidelines. Not only you but anyone having a difficult time due to living with a bipolar person.

A person with this condition can hurt you, but they don’t do so on purpose, and it’s important to seek professional help to handle manic depressive episodes.

  • Gutiérrez-Rojas, L., Martínez-Ortega, J. M., & Rodríguez-Martín, F. D. (2013). La sobrecarga del cuidador en el trastorno bipolar. Anales de Psicologia. https://doi.org/10.6018/analesps.29.2.124061
  • Herrero Villanueva, J. A., & Serrano Parra, M. D. (2006). Planes de cuidados al paciente con depresión y trastorno bipolar. Oferta Terapéutica En Enfermería de Salud Mental.
  • María, D., Lic, P., Perinot, L., & Gagliesi, P. (2015). Trastorno Bipolar Guía para pacientes, Familiares y allegados. Fundación Foro.
  • Suárez, M. Z., Montes, M. G., Jarabo, D. S., & Forteza, G. L. (2015). Trastorno bipolar. Medicine (Spain). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.med.2015.08.003